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back to article MWC: Inscrutable slogans, Google toys and the invisible Apple

I go to Mobile World Congress every year and come home bemused. A few observations to explain. I don't get marketing As you walk around the booths of Barcelona you read names, marketing slogans and brief descriptions of services offered. Mainly you leave none the wiser, even after repeating the process over several days. What's …

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Accelerating mobile revenuization

I like this one best. It's gibberish, of course, but it does mention money and sort of implies I might get some of it, and quickly.

Which is more intriguing than the rest.

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WTF?

Re: Accelerating mobile revenuization

I'd buy that, EXCEPT (atleast based on the bootnotes) they don't accelerate anything. They make test equipment. Maybe "Accelerating your engineers?"

This slogan makes me think they make a compression tech, or maybe some radios that give larger range (meaning you can put up less towers).

Really, I hate marketing. They all have a BS in BS.

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Accelerating mobile revenuization

Someone needs to be shot for crimes again the English language... Assuming that is English - hard to be sure!

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Re: Accelerating mobile revenuization

That's too fast, better to dip them in honey and stake them to an ant hill.

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>One company which wasn't there was Apple. Not only that but NOBODY mentioned it.

Applying Occam's Razor, it was probably because Apple didn't pay the vendor entry fee. They might be cutting back a bit as they are thinking of a stock dividend and only have 97 billion in the bank. Interesting how a company who was not there gets a full paragraph of glowing prose and then the author alludes they were "ignored".

As they make "the #1 smartphone in the world with the best ecosystem, as well as having the most apps and the sexiest tablet" they probably don't need to advertise to the little people anymore.

I can only guess that an objective journalist was absent from MWC as well.

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Apple

I guess they were ignored because they ignore everyone else. When you don't play nice with others, don't expect them to give you free advertisement. "bigger than everyone" is the reporter's opinion, as is "sexiest". That last one is also from a end consumer's point of view. In a trade show you would expect to rate "sexiness" by the degree of "customization" you can add to it, as a business partner, in order to make money. In the case of the iPad, this is "fuck all", which is understandable from Apple's point of view but certainly not sexy at all for their business partners (if you can even call that partnership).

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Gimp

Reporter's opinion?

Apple is the biggest company in the world, in case you did not get the memo. Became bigger than Exxon a while ago. They also make more money than any company at the show, AND have more money in the bank than all these companies put together.

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Re: Reporter's opinion?

Depends on how you calculate size. One could argue that Google is a bigger company in mobile, based on the number of handsets that sport their OS. Which is in the present context quite a bit more relevant than shareholder speculations or cash in the bank.

In any case my main point was that there is no business to be done with Apple when you are in the mobile industry, which is probably why they were ignored. Even the telcos, which Apple can't really bypass, get strong-armed (or used to be) into deals they don't like. As for the "Apple doesn't need the telcos, the telcos need Apple" that was true at the time of the first iPhone a few years back, and even then mostly in the US; that's certainly not true anymore, especially in the non-already-saturated markets.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Reporter's opinion?

Although Google has its Android OS on more handsets, on a per handset basis those handsets are far less likely to surf the net or buy apps or use data services.

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Re: Re: Re: Reporter's opinion?

> Although Google has its Android OS on more handsets, on a per handset basis those handsets are far less likely to surf the net

Sorry, what? Surely you're kidding.

> or buy apps

That's probably true, but kinda irrelevant in a mobile trade show.

> or use data services

What? surely you're kidding.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What? surely you're kidding.

The AC might be kidding, but the facts agree with him. iOS device owners spend more on apps, look at the net more, consume more data than any other smartphone platform, outstripping Google by a long way.

Which has the interesting knock-on that Google makes more mobile money from Apple than it does from Android

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Re: What? surely you're kidding.

The handset is not "more likely" to consume data, though. They all have a 100% probability of consuming data and the same goes for browsing the web. In volume, the iOS device are likely to consume more data, I agree. Which is bad for the carrier.

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Anonymous Coward

Repeat After Me - It's A Dumb Pipe

Excellent post, particularly picking up on the total absence of Apple.

Apple don't need the legacy carriers, but the legacy carriers need them.

And as the company with the vision and know how to effectively to get value add from their dreaded dumb pipes, I have little sympathy for the networks perilous position.

MWC itself is a nice metaphor for the avarice of the industry anyway. As someone who worked in the biz back when phones still had pull up aerials, I remember the worlds tiniest GSM network (one switch, one BSC) being deployed in Fiji so the marketdroids could nip off to an MWC stylee shindig there...

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iWhatever at MWC

I've been at MWC all week, and plenty more to talk about when I've recovered - but Apple? At least within my limited field of view, Apple are omitted not through wilful ignorance but because they are almost irrelevant in that space. Some omnipresent keywords for you to consider: security, signalling, offload, enterprise, policy, M2M, B2B, OEM integration - I could go on all week. So, take those, and show me a single interesting thing you can do in Apple's closed shop.

Let's be clear: I'm not commenting on whether Apple products are good or not, or whether the walled garden is the right strategy. I'm simply saying that there's barely any business to be done there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: iWhatever at MWC

Well you could be an app developer and have people actually buy stuff

Or you could be a malware author

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/report-android-malware-up-3325-in-2011/18449

Or you could be a tablet maker

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13970_7-57385739-78/samsung-were-not-doing-very-well-in-the-tablet-market/

Or you could be the richest company on the planet.

I'm simply saying that it all depends on what business you want to be in.

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Re: Re: iWhatever at MWC

MWC is a trade show, not E3. There are consumer device vendors largely for PR reasons, and there are (some) consumer app houses there, I assume pursuing things like white label integration. That's not really what it's about though - it's about a vast number of B2B discussions and partnership that would bore your Apple consumers to beautifully formed tears.

There's no point turning up at Bakery World Congress* with a great tasting loaf if the whole affair is about oven development and middleware flour integration.

*not an actual thing

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Anonymous Coward

On the bright side

At least Android malware didn't go up 4000%

Android is winning!

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Devil

Nokia and Microsoft?

Are they doing something in mobile again? I thought they dropped off the radar a couple years back.

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Re: Nokia and Microsoft?

Nokia, off the radar? What planet are you from?

There is a difference between "not being the world leader anymore" and "dead in the water".

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Re: Nokia and Microsoft?

There is indeed a difference... and they are 'dead in the water' 'on another planet'... this planet won't support a 3rd ecosystem... just an opinion of course...

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FAIL

"Ed Moore is Partner, Ocasta Labs, a developer of mobile-optimised internet software." - their slogan is 'innovating success' which is totally not dumb.

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what does it mean, not totally ??

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Do some research.

1. Mobile content paying its way. If you think mobile operators will invest $$$ in infrastructure and capacity and spectrum license and not make money from it, get real. You should know how capital intensive the industry is. If content providers ain't gonna pay, we'll see consumers paying more. It's quite simple really.

2. RCS v OTT. You obviously didn' dig deep enough. The RCS guys themselves have admitted, publicly in the RCS seminar that they do not want to compete against OTT because they cannot innovate at the same pace as the OTT players. All RCS does is drag plain old voice and SMS into the 21st century, kicking and screaming. That's all. The re-positioning is refreshing. If you had a 'too little/too late" argument, i would probably agree with you. And no mention of the cringe-worthy consumer brand "Joyn" for RCS; did that pass you by completely?

3. The absence of Apple. I agree with the irony. An overwhelming majority of conference attendees (and presumably, a few thieves in Barcelona) carry iPhones. But AFAIK, Apple do not attend any industry events? In some of the conference sessions, Apple was discussed quite openly. But almost with a shrug as in - they don't co-operate, what can we do about it. So it's not telcos ignoring them, it's Apple ignoring everyone else.

Expected better from you Ed.

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RE: 1. It's not my area, but infrastructural investment without return seems to me to be commonplace, just to keep up - UK 3G licensing being a prime example, but also the continuous capacity upgrades that keep the operators afloat without really bringing in any more cash.

RE: Joyn - I have to say this passed me by, apart from some artists painting a mural of its logo. Is it something to do with Nectar points? After a while you spot the GSMA-led initiatives (2011's WAC, anyone?) and know not to trouble your attention span. Whether RCS fits under the same category, I don't know.

RE: 3, I've said about this on this thread already, but one specific bit - Ed writes that "no carriers made iPhone announcements or trumpeted how they were working together" - well, they would love to, but it's not happening. See for instance DoCoMo's pain about the iPhone: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204190504577039622409101612.html - "we haven't given up hope", they say. Not the sort of brilliant news to announce, is it?

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end of the week author reply

On mobile content; my first home Internet connection was 64k and I now have 30Mb but the price I pay is about the same. This rule seems to hold true for all components; from chips to memory to monitor sizes. The goal always seems to be to keep getting roughly the same money even while you have to give more for it and the operators are firmly in that position. Capacity increases alone won't help them get more from each individual.

An RCS vendor Sales VP told me it was "the last roll of the dice before carriers give in to the OTT players". He also said RCS was supposed to be big following MWC 2011 but carriers didn't deploy and it's the same message again this year. I do struggle to see just why they are so slow at bringing new propositions to market. The Internet players have a habit of launching a product before saying anything about it, maybe it's just a perception issue?

No Apple don't attend (publicly) but I see no reason though why others shouldn't mention them more, even to illustrate good ideas or problems being caused. Data offload is an issue for carriers but the iPhone moves over to WiFi pretty elegantly, why can't this be copied more? If full web pages cause data issues should more be done by carriers to encourage mobile content owners to adopt lighter page sizes? If video is an issue should CDNs be extended further into the networks themselves? Would co-operation on timing data backups to be done out of hours help? Apple is a good example of where lessons can be learnt, not ignored.

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On #1, the thing that infuriates operators most is that they invest while the OTT players pocket the revenue. Hence all the noises about upstream providers paying, traffic management, differentiated QoS etc. If that doesn't happen, then I expect prices to rise for consumers. If they go down this path, there is another hurdle here in the form of a regulator putting pressure on the operators. But if you consider it another way, consumers are already paying more per MB e.g. the same amount of money would have bought an all-you-can-eat data package 18 months back. Now, the same amount gives you say half a gig.

On #2, don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of GSMA-led initiatives at all. I am still sceptical about RCS for several other reasons (interop, device availability etc), but *not* because of the reasons stated here i.e. cannot compete against OTT (RCS and OTT : apples and oranges), no co-operation between operators etc.

On #3, indeed, I had missed that bit of news. Oh, and FWIW, GSMA gave the best tablet award to the iPad 2. Lip service and all that, but I would have thought Ed would at least have mentioned it.

My gripe is simply about how poorly researched this article is.

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Inscrutable slogans

My favorite one is

Making Data beautiful- Wow ! Never knew one could do that . really funny...

Accelerating mobile revenuization - I can buy that with the Bootnote

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marketing slogans are meant to be "inscrutable" for a reason

Just my two cents.

As brand manager for my company, I find these slogans refreshing. I don't care if you spelling Nazis feel the need to turn the dictionary upside down at every given opportunity. Some of the most inspiring words used in brand campaigns are meant to be gibberish - and that is for a reason - they attract attention. It can be anything from pluralizing with "Z's", using Text type or experimenting with unreadable words; the aim is to deliberately all t he flexibility in the language to capture emotions and thoughts.

When words like "talented", "lengthy", "influential" and "reliable" made their way from across the pond, they were derided as barbarous. I personally don't like the word "burglarized" We have to be realistic: languages keep growing and marketing spin doctors have been at work right since the early 1920's to enrich vocabulary.

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